Wednesday afternoon saw six BSSC students pitting their grey matter and imaginations against a two-hour deadline and some of the world’s toughest linguistic puzzles in the Linguistics Olympiad.

Each year, across the world, teams of students from Year 9 to Year 12 test their minds and reasoning skills, hoping to progress to the international level of The Linguistics Olympiad. Last year Australia brought home two silver and one gold medal. This year Dublin is hosting the final.

Surprisingly, although every puzzle confronts students with a language they may never have even heard of before, even the hardest problems require ‘just’ logical ability, patient work, some analytical reasoning and willingness to think around corners.

Not only do students give themselves a cognitive workout, but they are exposed to minority or dying languages and to possible careers in linguistics.